Crown seeks new trial for Pickton
B.C. attorney general expects defence to file its own appeal
Last Updated: Monday, January 7, 2008 | 7:39 PM PT
The Crown is asking the B.C. Court of Appeal to order a new trial for convicted murderer Robert William Pickton on 26 counts of first-degree murder.
B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal said Monday the Crown contends that the judge presiding over Pickton's trial made numerous errors.
The prosecution submitted documents to the court Monday, outlining reasons for an appeal, B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal said.
The Crown contended that B.C. Supreme Court Justice James Williams, who presided over the Pickton trial that began in January 2007, made numerous errors, Oppal said.
"The trial judge made an error in defining first-degree murder and also in directing the jury on planning and deliberation, as well as excluding certain evidence that ought to have been admitted," Oppal said.
The jury acquitted Pickton last month on six counts of first-degree murder but found him guilty instead of second-degree murder on those counts.
Robert William Pickton, seen here in a court sketch done during his trial, was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for the maximum 25 years after his conviction on six second-degree murder charges.
Pickton, a former Port Coquitlam pig farmer, was charged with 26 first-degree murder counts, but Williams divided them into two separate proceedings, with only six of the counts being tried last year. A trial on the remaining 20 counts was planned for this year.
Oppal said he expects Pickton's defence lawyers to file notice to appeal the convictions before the deadline Thursday.
If the defence appeals on its own, it could mean a new trial would only be on second-degree murder charges, Oppal said.
The Crown's appeal leaves open the possibility that Pickton would be tried again on charges of first-degree murder, he said.
Crown's appeal a 'protective measure': Oppal
"We think this is a proper case for first-degree murder and that's the reason the lawyers in the Criminal Justice Branch, as sort of a defensive, protective measure, are filing the notice of appeal."
The notice of appeal filed by the Crown is called a "Crown appeal against acquittal" even though Pickton was found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder. The Crown will argue that Pickton should not have been acquitted by the jury on six counts of first-degree murder.
"We have always been of the view that there was planning and deliberation," Oppal said. "So if the matter is going to go to the Court of Appeal, our lawyers would argue that the planning and deliberations have been proved and there should have been convictions for first-degree murder."
One of Pickton's former defence lawyers has told CBC News he expects the defence appeal will be handled by Vancouver lawyer Gil McKinnon.
The veteran criminal lawyer once defended Vancouver's John Robin Sharpe on charges of possession of child pornography. McKinnon's office said he had no comment.With files from the Canadian Press
Latest British Columbia News Headlines
- Adrian Dix to speak to media for first time since NDP loss
- Embattled B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix is slated to speak to the media this afternoon following a week of silence after last week's surprise election defeat. more »
- Blood donation ban lifted for some gay, bisexual men
- Health Canada will allow gay men to donate blood if they haven't had sex with a man in the last five years, a change in policy to take effect in the coming weeks. more »
- Fentanyl-related deaths spark warning in Prince George
- Mounties in Prince George, B.C., are warning drug users about the powerful prescription opiate fentanyl which has turned up on the city's streets. more »
- Residents allowed home after gas leak, fire in Mission
- Residents of about 20 homes in Mission, B.C., have been allowed to return after a gas leak and fire forced their evacuation. more »
Top News Headlines
- Video forensics: How easy would it be to fake a Rob Ford video?
- Two media outlets reported last week that they had seen a cellphone video of Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack, a claim that has gone global. If a video does surface, how easy would it be to determine its authenticity? CBC News asked video forensic analyst David McKay. more »
- Oklahoma residents begin to return home after deadly tornado
- Rescue workers raced to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado destroyed countless homes, cleared lots down to bare red earth and claimed 24 lives, including those of nine children. more »
- Xbox One: A closer look
- The design, performance, Kinect camera, controller, requirements and limitations of Microsoft's Xbox One get a critical look. more »
- Over 1 million Montrealers face boil water advisory
- A boil water advisory is in effect for at least 24 hours across much of Montreal. more »
- Cloverdale Rodeo 'racist attack' investigated
- Aboriginal woman settles lawsuit over 3½ years solitary confinement
- One dead as floatplane overturns in Bute Inlet
- B.C. mine's temporary foreign workers case dismissed
- B.C. teachers win fight over political posters in schools
- B.C. girl killed after 11-year-old crashes jeep
- Illegal tree cutting nets charges for arborist, homeowners
- Kamloops man skydives for 90th birthday
- Motorcyclist dead after head-on crash on Lions Gate Bridge